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Sonnets > Sonnet #99, Week 64, May 15

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message 1: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
The forward violet thus did I chide:
Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,
If not from my love's breath? The purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dyed.
The lily I condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair:
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another white despair;
A third, nor red nor white, had stol'n of both
And to his robbery had annex'd thy breath;
But, for his theft, in pride of all his growth
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
More flowers I noted, yet I none could see
But sweet or colour it had stol'n from thee.


message 2: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) Another of his "praising beauty" love sonnet... but this one reads as pretty as the beauty it depicts...

"The forward violet thus did I chide:
Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,
If not from my love's breath?
...
The lily I condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair:
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another white despair;
A third, nor red nor white, had stol'n of both
And to his robbery had annex'd thy breath"

Lovely images.


message 3: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Every sonnet is riddled. Theme (answer) of sonnet 99 is sinner, based on the astray sheep story in Bible. It has 15 lines; the extra one completes the number 99 to 100.

Six sinners exist in this sonnet: violet, lily, marjoram, red rose, white rose, nor-red-nor-white rose. Their true identities are sealed via anagrams.


message 4: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
Violet...

Olive
Volti
Loti

Marjoram....

Margeret
Margi

?


message 5: by JimF (new)

JimF | 219 comments Sonnet 99 is a good example of codes used by Shakespeare. The six flowers can be randomly done, or intelligently selected.

All six flowers can be solved by anagrams related to Mary Sidney, e.g. “forward violet” can spell Edward de Vere (who betrayed Mary).

The three roses (red, white, nor-red-nor-white) are designed to say they are from one family, which can affirm the assumption of Mary Sidney.

Line 9’s “blushing shame, white despair” can spell William and Philip Herbert (Mary’s two sons). Line 10’s “third, stolen of both” can spell Henry Herbert (Mary’s husband). Unlikely a coincidence, isn’t it?

— Red shame is about William Herbert’s illegitimate son.

— White despair is about Philip Herbert’s cowardice (Ramsey) and flattery (King James).

— Nor-red-nor-white is about Henry Herbert’s syphilis, which is like “A vengeful canker eat him up to death” in line 13. (It shows how his wife hated him.)

Syphilis is the answer to “Siren tears” in sonnet 119:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

My theory is simple. All 154 sonnets are riddled, and all real names are sealed via anagrams.


message 6: by Candy (new)

Candy | 2752 comments Mod
Great stuff as usual.

I just read another post from Phil (I think) and Janice.....how to we reconcile the ideas of Shakespeare as being a commercially driven artist , and wanting people to read his stuff with readers like Jim and I who see patterns and puzzles?

Can't Shakespeare be so talented as to do both? Al the great artists do....


message 7: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) Actually, we seem to be incorporating all the possibilities in the threads, so it all works. I still find what I want out of the plays and sonnets, and so do you and JimF. Works for me : )


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